Apple beefs up iWork for iCloud with bolstered collaboration, more file storage

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Apple today has enhanced its iWork suite of iCloud apps to include much improved collaboration, new document options, and more file storage. iWork includes the Pages word processor, Keynote presentation maker, and Numbers spreadsheet manager, and it is likely that supporting apps for iOS and OS X will become available in the near future…

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How-to: Get started with Instant Alpha and Smart Lasso in Preview for OS X

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As you may know, Instant Alpha is a feature that allows you to remove an object in an image from its background. You can find this feature in apps like Pages and Keynote, as well as the Preview app that comes built-in on Macs. As we’ve written recently in articles about signatures and marking up images, Preview has a lot of capabilities that don’t get much press.

In this article, you’ll learm how to use Instant Alpha and Smart Lasso to create custom images, remove an object from its background, and some advantages of using Preview to create custom images.

Images created in this way could be used for anything, including fun social media posts. They can be imported into iPhoto, cropped and used in books, calendars, or especially to customize a birthday or greeting card. Depending on what kind of image you want to create, you can really do quite a bit using Preview, Pages and a few other tips and tricks.

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Apple updates iWork for Mac and iOS with read-only sharing modes and much more

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Following today’s iWork for iCloud update, Apple has pushed out new versions of the iOS and OS X version of the productivity suite, providing feature parity with the online version. Pages (iOS / Mac), Keynote (iOS / Mac), and Numbers (iOS / Mac) each received a new read-only sharing mode to work with the iCloud version of that feature.

Each app also got a long list of changes and enhancements, which are listed below. You can get all of the updates for free if you already own the latest version of iWork. Apple recently started including a copy of the iWork and iLife suites along with new iOS devices and Macs, but users with older devices will need to purchase the current version separately if they haven’t already. Read more

How-to: Use Preview to put signatures on PDF’s, Pages Documents, and Mail messages

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As we have written about in previous articles, Preview is a valuable tool in OS X that does not get a lot of press. In this article, we will review how you can use Preview to capture your signature using the iSight camera on a Mac, then use it in Pages documents, to sign PDF documents, and as an image in your signature in the Mail app.

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Opinion: Five years from now, will we have given up all control of our technology?

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I know, it seems an odd question. But a few different things over the last couple of days got me thinking …

Years ago, before either Google or Apple ecosystems were really deserving of the term, I managed all my device synchronisation manually: I decided what content got synced on what devices. My music too: iTunes was allowed to play it, but not to manage it – I took care of the folder structures and meta-data myself. And the miscellaneous notes I kept were in a folder full of text files, the format deliberately chosen to be compatible with anything, not sitting inside Apple’s Notes app.

My view was that it should be me, not some piece of software or online service, that made the decisions about how things got done. Fast-forward to today, however, and things are quite different around here …  Read more

iWork for iCloud apps add promised collaboration features, folders, more

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Back at Apple’s October 22nd iPad Air event, the company also unveiled an update to its iWork for iCloud online productivity suite beta that included new real-time collaboration features, easier sharing, and more. The ability to collaborate went live initially, but today Apple is rolling a handful of other new features to the Pages, Numbers, and Keynote iWork for iCloud apps.

New features going live today include a new list to view all collaborators currently working on a project, as well as “cursors and selections” for each person editing a document, presentation, or spreadsheet. Apple also notes that you can now “Instantly jump to a collaborator’s cursor by clicking their name in the collaborator list.”

In addition, all apps today receive new folders to organize files, the ability to print from the Tools menu, and the Keynote app gets right-click to skip slides.

You can check out the new features in the Numbers, Pages, and Keynote app on iCloud.com now. Full list of what’s new below: Read more

Apple responds to new iWork complaints, says several features returning within 6 months

Last month, Apple introduced new iWork suites for both OS X and iOS. The new applications feature entirely new designs and are built-up a new 64-bit architecture for increased speed. However, as we previously noted, many long-time iWork users have found that the new versions lack several features that have existed in previous releases. Today, Apple has responded to these complaints and has said that it will be restoring several of the missing features over the course of the next 6 months.

The new iWork applications—Pages, Numbers, and Keynote—were released for Mac on October 22nd. These applications were rewritten from the ground up to be fully 64-bit and to support a unified file format between OS X and iOS 7 versions, as well as iWork for iCloud beta.

These apps feature an all-new design with an intelligent format panel and many new features such as easy ways to share documents, Apple-designed styles for objects, interactive charts, new templates, and new animations in Keynote.

In rewriting these applications, some features from iWork ’09 were not available for the initial release. We plan to reintroduce some of these features in the next few releases and will continue to add brand new features on an ongoing basis.

These features will return in software updates. Here are the features that are coming back:

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New iOS iWork & iLife icons/features appear on Apple’s website, GarageBand going free with in-app-purchases

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On the ‘Built-in Apps’ page in the iPhone 5s and 5c section of Apple’s website, although the actual app screenshots look the same, Apple is using new (flatter) iOS icons for the iLife and iWork suites designed to match the style of iOS 7. The iPhoto and GarageBand icons are identical to the ones that were leaked last week in the iCloud Storage preferences.

However, this is the first time the new iOS 7 style iMovie, Pages, Numbers and Keynote icons have been seen. Although iMovie looks relatively similar to its skeuomorphic counterpart, the other icons look drastically different featuring bright gradients and white icon glyphs.

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Apple crediting eligible iOS users who paid for iWork, iLife after September 1st

 

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During Apple’s September event, the Tim Cook announced that all new iOS devices purchased after September 1st would be given the option to get iWork and most iLife apps for free. Some users who had purchased iOS devices after the first of the month, however, had already paid for those apps prior to the announcement, or paid for them after the announcement due to confusion about how to claim the free versions.

Today Apple began sending out emails to eligible users who paid for the apps informing them that their iTunes accounts would be credited for the software they should have gotten for free. The amount listed in the tips we’ve received varies from customer to customer, so it appears the credits are only for the apps that were paid for, not the total price of all five apps.

The refund can be claimed via an iTunes Store redeem code included in the email. You can read the full message from Apple below.

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Apple announces iWork for iCloud, new apps for Mac and iOS coming later this year

Confirming our earlier suspicions, Apple today showed off some new features for its iWork suite of apps, which includes both Mac and iOS versions of the Pages, Numbers, and Keynote apps. While Apple confirmed that new versions of the apps for Mac and iOS would be coming later in the year, it spent its presentation today showing off brand new web versions of the apps designed to run right in the browser through iCloud.com. The new web apps, available initially only to developers starting today, will be dubbed ‘iWork for iCloud’ and bring web apps to iCloud that will compete directly with Google Docs and Google’s other suite of web apps.

Apple execs spent much of the time on stage showing off the new Pages for iCloud app, demoing how users can drag and drop Microsoft Word files and other documents directly into the iCloud.com UI in their browser to begin editing a document. Apple also briefly demoed presentations and spreadsheets running in web versions of the Numbers and Keynote apps.

During the demo of the new iWork for iCloud apps, Apple also made a point of noting that the new apps run in any browser by showing off the apps running on Windows 8.

The new apps are available as developer beta starting today. A public beta of the new iWork for iCloud apps will be arriving later this year. Apple didn’t mention any details regarding pricing, or whether or not the web apps will be a separate purchase from the apps currently available on Mac and iOS.

Tips: Use little-known gestures to arrange photos and shapes in iOS Pages

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Although the touch-centric UI makes getting to grips with Pages for iOS straightforward, the interface does not appear well-suited to precise positioning of objects, which is necessary in more complicated documents. Luckily, Apple’s iWork suite extends the default iOS set of gestures to provide options for finer-grained control. Learning these more-obscure techniques makes doing ‘real work’ with Pages for iOS an enjoyable experience, rather than an annoyance.

Nudging objects

The natural way to position an object with an iPhone or iPad is to drag it, but this method is not really suitable when doing pixel-accurate alignments. With Pages for Mac, you can achieve one-pixel ‘nudges’ with the arrow keys. To do a nudge on a keyboard-less iOS device, you have to use a special two-finger gesture. Start by placing one finger on the photo you want to nudge to select it. Then, swipe in any direction outside of the photo’s bounds with another finger, to move the object in the respective direction. Add on another ‘swiping finger’ to shift by 10 pixels, rather than single pixels, at a time.

Locked movement

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Apple removes trials of iWork and Aperture from its website, sends users to App Store

As pointed out by MacStories, Apple recently removed trials for the iWork suite and Aperture 3 from Apple.com. The webpage formerly home to the iWork trial now includes a message informing users that iWork apps, such as Keynote, Pages, and Numbers, are available through the Mac App Store. Apple removed the trial for a short while last year before returning it; however, the company also informed users last month that the iWork.com Beta service would shut down July 31. Apple does not currently offer trial versions of the $20 Mac Store apps.

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